The Need For Interoperability In The Dental Industry?
Updated: Mar 22, 2022
>> The Need For Interoperability In The Dental Industry?
The word interoperability has been spreading like wildfire in the medical industry for the past decade or so. Due to governmental regulations and the demand for making patients’ medical records accessible, different interoperability standards have come into effect. Different medical sectors such as dermatology, gynecology, and dentistry are joining in for the drive to achieve effective healthcare practices.
Interoperability In The Dental Industry
Over 86% of office-based physicians in the US have adopted some form of Electronic Health Record System. Dentists also make up a large number of these statistics. Typically, a general dentist in the U.S. sees over 3500 patients every year. This number continues to grow as healthcare and dentistry become more affordable for the masses. A key barrier in ensuring good service provision is managing the data related to all these patients and providing the dentist is not over-exhausted.
Benefits of Interoperability For The Dental Industry
There are many benefits that interoperability brings to the dental industry, which help make dental care better for the patients that avail of it. The whole reason behind pushing for interoperability is that dental practice should be made easy for dentists and patients alike. Some of the key benefits are:
Improves Efficiency and Reduces Errors
Interoperability in data entry and reporting helps reduce the chances of human error. It makes it easier for dentists to add, interpret and store data. This makes the service provider's functioning faster and more efficient and ensures they are vigilant and do not make basic errors during diagnosis or follow-ups.
Promotes Patient Medical Data Safety
Electronic Health Record Systems (EHRS) is a great platform for storing patient data and keeping it safe from forgery, theft, or security break-ins. It helps promote doctor-patient confidentiality. This also holds service providers accountable for their procedures and any issues that occur. Since healthcare providers are not allowed to withhold patient information anymore, it helps boost transparency in the dental sector.
Compiles Detailed Medical Health Records
Since it would be impractical to assume patients visit only one doctor for their issues, the problem of scattered medical data is of key concern to doctors. Interoperability in data management helps compile detailed medical health records for patients that can be shared between healthcare service providers and updated through real-time communications. This can potentially save a patient's life in severe cases if their dental history is accessible easily to dentists.
Extends The Reach of Teledentistry
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, teledentistry and offsite dental solutions have increased in demand. Most people go to a dentist for consultations, follow-ups, and routine checkups. With advancements in telemedicine technology, some of these trivial matters can be tended to online, and storing patient-dentist interactions becomes easier with interoperability. It also gives dentists a platform to better interpret data that is being shared with them through these channels.
Brings Providers, Patients and Payers Together
In most cases, especially when it comes to the dental industry, the payers for dental treatments aren’t the ones who are receiving it. This holds true for parents who pay for their children’s dental health or the elderly and in certain other cases as well. Interoperability helps establish better communication channels and patient data sharing that helps bring the dental service providers, the patients, and the ones paying into the loop.
The Way Forward
After establishing the need for more interoperability in the dental industry, it’s safe to assume it will lead to breakthroughs in telehealth and medical care globally. As long as providing patients with the best dental care experience remains at the heart of interoperability in the dental sector, dental health will become more efficient and accessible.
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